You need to read Terry Karney’s reactions on reading the torture memos. I was beginning to wonder at myself. It wasnâ€™t until I was deep into the third memo (which is a detailing of the various â€œtechniquesâ€ being used, and the rationalisations for them being legal, that I really started to be disgusted. It was…Read More "There is no way to be a good interrogator and not look into torture. "
If this is true, things are even worse than I’d imagined: Whole communities are involved in assisting and covering up “honour violence” in Britain, a new study says. Informal networks of taxi drivers, councillors and sometimes even police officers track down and return women who try to escape, researchers claim. When I first came to…Read More "Honour killings conspiracy"
Bruce Schneier has just posted an essay called The War on the Unexpected which captures the zeitgeist of paranoia to a T: Watch how it happens. Someone sees something, so he says something. The person he says it to — a policeman, a security guard, a flight attendant — now faces a choice: ignore or…Read More Bruce Schneier's "The War on the Unexpected"
Thoughts from the Iraqi blogger, Riverbend, now living in Damascus, Syria: I hear about the estimated 1.5 million plus Iraqi refugees in Syria and shake my head, never really considering myself or my family as one of them. After all, refugees are people who sleep in tents and have no potable water or plumbing, right?…Read More "A refugee is someone who isnâ€™t really welcome in any country- including their own… especially their own."
Only in Florida: Orlando emptied its bureau drawers and closets on Friday of more than 250 unwanted guns — and one surface-to-air missile launcher. The shoulder-fired weapon showed about 6 p.m. when an Ocoee man drove to the Citrus Bowl to trade the 4-foot-long launcher for size-3 Reebok sneakers for his daughter.Read More Seems like a good deal to me…
Commonsense from Max Hastings in the Guardian’s Comment is free: Pity anyone who must catch a plane or visit Wimbledon today, or indeed for many days to come. Following Friday’s London bombs and Saturday’s attack at Glasgow airport, security checks have intensified dramatically. Everybody engaged in what is now a vast industry wants to be…Read More "Gesture security"
Andrew Sullivan points out the way that the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation” was viewed half a century ago – before Cheney, Rumsfeld and “24” turned torture into a spectator sport. Money quote: Critics will no doubt say I am accusing the Bush administration of being Hitler. I’m not. There is no comparison between the political…Read More "VerschÃ¤rfte Vernehmung"
Powerful cri de coeur from Andrew Sullivan on the moral cost of the war in Iraq. It’s prompted by a U.S. Army report which included the finding that “Less than half of Soldiers and Marines believed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect.” This is how we win hearts and minds? […] Over…Read More The moral cost of the war
Kathy Sierra, the writer who spoke out after a series of attacks and threats, and Chris Locke, the owner of the websites where the attacks were posted, have been talking, and have issued what they call Coordinated Statements. If you’ve been following this affair, it’s worth reading them. A couple of quotes – first from…Read More More on the Kathy Sierra blogstorm
Recently I cited Patrick Cockburn on the increasingly dangerous situation in the Iraqi countryside. Now we find that even the Green Zone in Baghdad is at risk: The US embassy in Baghdad circulated a memo to all Americans working for the US government in the Green Zone. It ordered them to wear protective gear whenever…Read More The Green Zone is now Red